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  1. Default East coast to West coast

    Hi Guys

    I am from the UK and am new to this forum and really hooked on this site.

    I am planning my dream trip from New York to Los Angeles and there will be eight adults in our group. We are looking for tips, for example:

    What is the best time of year to make this trip, we will have three weeks will that be enough time?

    What are the must see points of interest?

    Should we hire two cars or hire a 8 seater people carrier?

    Any suggestions you have to make this trip a once in a lifetime experience would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome aboard!

    You know, there are no absolute answers to your questions.

    Best time of the year to make the trip - - well, it would depend on what you want to see. If you wish to see things in the northern states, you may find that April to September is better for national parks (due to snow closures on some roads). But travel October to March is good, too, in other areas of the country!

    Three weeks - - probably plenty, but it depends on what you wish to see.

    Must see things - - everyone has a different opinion of what's "must see"!! Advice: get to a map store or your local auto association, and get a good USA map. Check it to see what's here that you'd LOVE to see. Peek around RTA for various sites that interest you, and encourage everyone in your group to do the same.

    How many vehicles - - You might want to think about this one, hard. You can get a large van that will seat that many, but 1) it may cost more than 2 smaller vehicles, and 2) some states require that the driver have a commercial Class B (school bus type) license. Two smaller vehicles may be cheaper. You can keep in touch with each other either by inexpensive two-way family radios (like walkie talkies) or two good cell phones. (My family and I like two-way radios better, because there's no dialing to distract anybody.)

    Once you figure out what you'd love to see, and your 7 co-passengers, come back here and we can help you in terms of routing.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A map will greatly assist.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Your best bet as a starting point is to get a large map of the USA, one which shows the routes, major urban centres and natural attractions. (I like the National Geographics map best.)

    You must between the eight of you all have something in your head which you want to see. Mark these on the map first. (Little postit notes are good for this.) Once you have these on the map, it will give you an indication of a route. Then spend some time playing around in the Map Centre on the green bar above. Use the legs between the attractions you have, and see what else there is along the way. When you have some dots on the map, and given us an outline of the interest of your party, we will be able to help you fine tune the route and fill in the gaps.

    One thing to keep in mind, the larger the party, the slower your progress... whether that be in one or two vehicles. And make sure you add 20% to the times in all computer mapping programs. Suffice to say, with three weeks you have a nice amount of time to see quite a bit. Just for comparison, it takes five to six days to drive coast to coast by the most direct route.

    Enjoy the planning.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Common interests.

    Hi Johno, glad you found your way to the forums !

    You can drive across country in a week quite comfortably, so having 3 weeks will leave you a nice amount of time to enjoy the sights. Of course, much will depend on how much time you wish to spend in New York and LA, plus other places.

    As mentioned previously, there are thousands of options and until you get some dots on the map of places that interest you the most that will help to create a route, it's impossible to make meaningful suggestions. On a personal level, I would look to the contrasting scenery and great National parks of Colorado, Utah and into Arizona for the Grand canyon and perhaps a couple of nights in Vegas, but it's your 'party', so it's what you want that matters. Where you go could also make a difference to the time you travel as mentioned above. September/October is my particular favourite time to travel when the crowds are dispersing, the heat in the desert areas is bearable and you get some lovely Fall colours.

    With 8 adults and all the luggage to contend with, you might be better off going with 2 good size cars. It would be more comfortable than van seating and you could swap travel partners to mix things up a bit. I think you are one too many for the largest of motorhomes that could have been an option to share where it would have been one of the rare cases where the RV would be cheaper than a car and motels.

    Look around the forums and sit down as a group with a map and discuss what each person wants from the trip and to list their 'must sees' and start to formulate a route around the most common interests, be it National parks or City centres. In the 'Maps' link in the tool bar above you can make routes and search for attractions and throughout the RTA site you will find lots of planning links.

    Enjoy the planning !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Another Reason for Two

    Another reason to get two smaller (but not small) cars is to offer flexibility. A little discussed aspect of traveling with a group is that you will get on each others' nerves if you spend too much time together. So having two vehicles allows a couple of options. You can, at a minimum, change up who's riding with whom on a relatively frequent basis. But you can also use the extra mobility to go to different places that appeal to different segments of your group. Together, those two elements of flexibility could mean that no two members of your entourage have exactly the same experience on your cross country trip.


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